Service Area Business w/ Hidden Address - IMPORTANT UPDATE G+ Business Page Merge

Linda Buquet

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If you have a service area business with address properly hidden, you were not supposed to merge with a Google+ Business page yet. HOWEVER many did because Google did not message anywhere in product or help docs where average business owners would see it - they only mentioned in the forum which few SMBs read. So many businesses that should NOT have merged (AKA verified their G+ Business page) already did and it's causing problems.

So Google just now announced if you have address hidden and merged/verified when you should not have - YOU NEED TO DELETE YOUR GOOGLE+ BUSINESS PAGE!

(FYI, this includes me, because I merged as soon as it was announced and they didn't explain until later that certain business types did not qualify. In fact I was the one that told them that trying to verify with address hidden was borked.)

Here is the new Sticky that Abby the new Community Manager just posted.

Service Area Business with a verified social local Google+ page?

Are you a Service Area Business (SAB) that has created and verified/merged a social local Google+ page for your business? Read on!

If you do not accept customers at your location, then your address should be hidden. At this time, Google+ currently does not support hidden addresses. You should delete your social local Google+ page from within Google+ (Click on Pages on the ribbon on the left, go to the Settings of your page, and scroll to the bottom and click Delete page).

Don’t worry! You can still manage your business’ presence on Google. Here’s how:

If you’re a verified business owner in Google Places for Business...
Manage the listing via the Google Places for Business dashboard. Be sure to hide your address.

If not, but a listing for your business exists...
Find the listing for your business and become a verified business owner by clicking on Manage this page on the right-hand side.
Then, manage the page via the Google Places for Business dashboard

If no listing for your business exists...
Add it on Google Places for Business: places.google.com/local/add

We’ll share updates with you on this thread when we have them.
Now I personally think that will just confuse the heck out of the average SMB who may happen to read it. But I'm thinking most of you can figure out what it means.

Hope none of you merged and already invested energy into building up the social stuff for your clients. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news - but I've tried warning folks about this from the beginning and I know Mike has posted about it a few times as well.

Stay tuned, I'm sure there will be questions, concerns and updates about this coming soon.

PS I need to leave for Dr and errands - will be gone for awhile. Will answer Qs when I return this evening.
 

Marie Ysais

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Re: Service Area Business w/ Hidden Addess - IMPORTANT UPDATE G+ Business Page Merge

OH nooooooooooooooooooooo! thanks for the heads up.......:(

I have not read the article fully yet but......I guess you are in the same boat if you merged, verified and then hid your address?
 
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Does this explain all of the people who hid their addresses in the Dashboard but were visable in GMM and got deleted? Given the posting it seems this would account for all the SABs with hidden addresses that "disappeared."
 

Linda Buquet

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Marie I suspect so.

Does this explain all of the people who hid their addresses in the Dashboard but were visable in GMM and got deleted? Given the posting it seems this would account for all the SABs with hidden addresses that "disappeared."
Andrew I've been suspecting that was the case as well, have brought it up and tried to get an answer.
 
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Why can not Google just provide an un-verify option if you click on the verified icon?

They seem incapable of considering their users.

When the merge option was introduced there should have been some validation on the entry to check the user only had one location and the address was not hidden.

Why should users loose hours of work because the development department is rated as Poor.
 

Jim Froling

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Mike Blumenthal's blog states that SAB's that do not take corrective action WILL BE SUSPENDED! And a few posters claim it is already happening.

---------- Post Merged at 04:04 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:54 PM ----------

What if the G+ Business Page has not been verified? If it is not verified, it isn't merged, right? Should we keep it up and wait for the day when Google blesses it?
 

Linda Buquet

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Jim where do you see that? I've been gone a couple days, but just went over to read and catch up and I'm not seeing it.
 

Flash

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Don't forget that the are eligible (and have always been) to be deleted via Map Maker.
 
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Hi Linda,
I deleted my old G+ Business Page, created a new one…

-----------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE FROM LINDA: Since this post included a link and was requesting help with a specific listing,
as opposed to a general question about the important update in this thread...

I MOVED POST TO HELP SECTION HERE:
http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-places-help-support/1650-re-service-area-business-w-hidden-address.html
(Moved Flash's reply there too plus I made 2 new posts there re your listing.)
 

Linda Buquet

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There have been quite a few replies to the post above so if you are in a similar situation may want to check it out.
 

Linda Buquet

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IMPORTANT POSITIVE UPDATE ON THIS FRONT

I've been critical of the lack of in-product messaging/warning/explanation about things that business owners should NOT be allowed to do. Often instead of warning or prohibiting, the change is allowed and then the listing gets suspended.

The fact that SABs (Service Area Businesses) with address hidden CANNOT and SHOULD not merge with G+ or verify their G+ page is one of those situations where there should be a warning and the change should not be allowed to go through.

Well Google has been listening AND NOW the merge/verification won't go through on hidden address listings AND it even explains why. Proactive warnings will eliminate TONS of problems!

Here's a screenshot of the page users are sent to that try to merge when they don't qualify.

2820335848-orig.png

And here is the link and explanation from the page:

Service-area businesses in Google+ Local

At this time we can’t verify non-storefront businesses in Google+ Local. If you operate in a service area and do not meet customers at your location, you should manage your local Google+ page from your Google Places for Business account.


Kudos to the Local and G+ teams for listening and proactively nipping this problem in the bud, which will greatly reduce user (and consultant) frustration and Google support time.

 

Brian Alaway

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Linda, thanks for responding over on Mike's blog. Ok, so that would explain the disabled Google+ page but why would my places listing be stuck in a "Pending" state for months? Keep in mind it wasn't always "pending".

Thanks, Brian

Also, what type of pages would I be allowed on G+. Brand for my name?
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for posting here so I can see if I can help Brian.

1st so I can remember where that convo happened or for anyone else this situation may help...

Here is Brian's comment at Mike's: Google+ Promotes Publisher Tag for Local Listings | Understanding Google Places & Local Search

Here is my reply there: Google+ Promotes Publisher Tag for Local Listings | Understanding Google Places & Local Search

Yes I think it explains your G+ problem.

As far as what type of G+ page you CAN have. Well that's another catch 22 and new problem. I WOULD have told you a week ago, go ahead and set up a G+ Business page, set as the local category and just keep it separate and don't merge or verify for now. BUT now suddenly Google won't LET YOU edit your page UNLESS YOU VERIFY. But you can't verify. So it's just screwed up. See this post!

http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-local/2082-google-local-now-forcing-g-business-merges.html

Brian, since this thread is dedicated to this particular major G+ upgrade, please post down in our help forum to ask about the pending problem which is on the Places side of the house and likely could get complicated and require lots of back and forth that would throw this important thread off topic. Please in that thread post link to Places if it's live or link to your site if it's not and start over with history of what's happened and we'll try to help you there.

Thanks for understanding. There is SO much info coming into this forum now and there are so many problems... Trying hard to keep everything in the right sections so it's easier to stay on topic and so everyone can find the info they need.
 

avanahall

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Linda, thanks for responding over on Mike's blog. Ok, so that would explain the disabled Google+ page but why would my places listing be stuck in a "Pending" state for months? Keep in mind it wasn't always "pending".

Thanks, Brian

Also, what type of pages would I be allowed on G+. Brand for my name?
I too find it very confusing and frustrating and I am not a spring chicken when it comes to internet marketing.

First we have our places taken down - then we have our G+ page deactivated -- all because we just did what we thought we where supposed to do. We are an HVAC company so we where a target for sure - but the one thing that confuses me is that Google has desired everyone to jump into G+ and when we do - set up a company page they punish you.

Also - I have many other pages I created like a large entrepreneurs organization - is that legal? SO confused!

Also - I cant help to wonder why G would be so ruthless in how they have handled this.

I know from behind the scenes they have done everything to try to cater to businesses - most likely for their "AD" dollars. Well what they are doing to businesses by just deleting their accounts and putting them into a black hole is enough to totally disagree with their words "Do no evil"

I deleted our Google+ Page we spent months growing and our Places is in the everlasting "Pending" status hell.

What I will say is that I pray that one day Google gets competition. :cool:
 

Linda Buquet

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Yes I know, SOOO frustrating!

If you'd like help with the pending problem please post down in the help forum and in that thread post link to G+ Local (Place Page) if it's still live or link to your site if it's not and explain history of what's happened and we'll try to help you there. Also be more specific about these other pages you are referring too. I suspect what you are talking about is a violation and could be part of the pending prob OR could get you suspended. So fill us in and we'll let you know what to do.
 

Linda Buquet

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There is some new info coming out about this issue and SABs later today.

If by chance you have a SAB with a merged page right this second and are ready to delete as per above DON'T. Just hang tight for more info.

Colan and TCs please watch for sticky from Jade at the Google forum and post an update here.
Or if I happen to be on WIFI at airport and catch it I will post.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Jade just posted this update in the Google and Your Business Forum:

Google Groups

US SABs who already have verified/merged local G+ pages that they created in Google+ can now hide their addresses. To hide your address:


  • Log into Google+, click Pages on the left, and Manage the page in question
  • Click on Edit business information on the page for your business
  • Click on the pencil next to the address
  • Check the box saying, “My business has service areas where I visit customers at their location.”
  • Uncheck the box saying, “I serve customers at my business address.”
  • Edit service areas as necessary.

Remember, businesses who do not serve customers at the business address should hide their addresses.

*** SABs with hidden address who do not already have verified pages that they created in Google+ should proceed using Google Places for Business at places.google.com. SABs with hidden address should not create new local pages in Google+. ***


 
Last edited:

Jim Froling

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Went to one SAB's G+ I manage. He was "categorized" under "Construction". ERRR! Wrong!! He cleans and services pools and spas. Always has. So that little migration didn't transfer over real seamlessly.

No drama. I just corrected them. I'm a recognized "Page Manager" after all. Then I learn my edits won't appear until I verify that I'm the business owner. OK, whatever it takes. That sends me to the postcard screen (no, no, no, NOO!:eek:) and at first Google wants to send to an old address from years ago. I finally coaxed the correct address from them. But verify AGAIN?! And the client is going out of town next week. Great, just fabulous.

I came into the forum today to check whether it is cool yet to verify SABs. I guess we'll find out now. Also, is it OK to link the website? I recall earlier in the month some advice here to hold off on that also for time being.

I hate to admit it, but I'm getting more confused by the day. Google+, Google+ Local, Google+ Business. Merge not to merge. Has anyone created a flowchart on this new process yet?:confused:
 
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